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Richard Hakluyt (1553-1616) has been well termed by Professor Raleigh'the Homer of our heroic age'; yet his aim was not so much to record great deeds as to inspire them, to urge his countrymen to explore and colonize unknown countries, to encourage trade with the distant parts of the earth, and to furnish maps and other helps to navigation. A clergyman and a student, he had no experience of the adventures he described and prompted; but he was much more than a mere compiler. He brought to his self-appointed task the devotion and enthusiasm of a lofty purpose, and must be given a high rank among those who founded the British Empire and established the Anglo-Saxon race beyond the seas. It was fortunate for posterity that the Elizabethan age of commercial enterprise and romantic adventure found a chronicler with leisure and ability to save its achievements from oblivion, for the voyagers themselves were, as a rule, too busy making history to write it. Most of them were much readier with the sword than with the pen; Grenville's desperate resolution, Gilbert's religious valor, and Drake's restless daring would have been lost to literature, and perhaps even to history, if we had had to depend on their own records. Raleigh must be mentioned as a conspicuous exception; he combined with the spirit of adventure a literary power which makes his narratives a strange contrast to the matter-of-fact or garrulous reports of his less gifted fellows.


(From the first edition of the Voyages,

Lord, and his wonders in the deep, &c. Which words of the prophet, together with my cousin's discourse (things of high and rare delight to my young nature), took in 5 me so deep an impression that I constantly resolved, if ever I were preferred to the university, where better time and more convenient place might be ministered for these studies, I would by God's assistance prosecute that knowledge and kind of literature, the doors whereof, after a sort, were so happily opened before me.

Right honorable, I do remember that being a youth, and one of her Majesty's scholars at Westminster, that fruitful nursery, it was my hap to visit the chamber of Mr. Richard Hakluyt, my cousin, a 10 gentleman of the Middle Temple, well known unto you, at a time when I found lying open upon his board certain books of cosmography, with a universal map. He, seeing me somewhat curious in the 15 view thereof, began to instruct my ignorance by showing me the division of the earth into three parts after the old account, and then according to the latter, and better distribution, into more. He 20 pointed with his wand to all the known seas, gulfs, bays, straits, capes, rivers, empires, kingdoms, dukedoms, and territories of each part, with declaration also of their special commodities, and particular wants, which, by the benefit of traffic and intercourse of merchants, are plentifully supplied. From the map he brought me to the Bible, and turning to the 107th Psalm, directed me to the 23rd and 24th 30 verses, where I read, that they which go down to the sea in ships and occupy by the great waters, they see the works of the


According to which my resolution, when, not long after, I was removed to Christ Church in Oxford, my exercises of duty first performed, I fell to my intended course, and by degrees read over whatsoever printed or written discoveries and voyages I found extant either in the Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portugal, French, or English languages, and in my public lectures was the first that produced and showed both the old imperfectly composed, and the new lately reformed maps, globes, spheres, and other instruments of this art for demonstration in the common schools, to the singular pleasure and general contentment of my auditory. In continuance of time, and by reason principally of my insight in this study, I grew familiarly acquainted with the chiefest captains at sea, the greatest merchants, and the best mariners of our nation; by which


means having gotten somewhat more than ages they have been men full of activity, common knowledge, I passed at length the stirrers abroad, and searchers of the renarrow seas into France with Sir Edmote parts of the world, so in this most ward Stafford, her Majesty's careful and famous and peerless government of her discreet Ligier, where during my five 5 most excellent Majesty, her subjects, years abode with him in his dangerous through the special assistance and blessing and chargeable residence in her Highness' of God, in searching the most opposite service, I both heard in speech, and read corners and quarters of the world, and to in books other nations miraculously ex- speak plainly, in compassing the vast globe tolled for their discoveries and notable en- 10 of the earth more than once, have excelled terprises by sea, but the English of all all the nations and people of the earth. others for their sluggish security, and For which of the kings of this land before continual neglect of the like attempts, es- her Majesty had their banners ever seen pecially in so long and happy a time of in the Caspian sea? which of them hath peace, either ignominiously reported, or 15 ever dealt with the emperor of Persia as exceedingly condemned; which singular her Majesty hath done, and obtained for opportunity, if some other people, our her merchants large and loving privileges? neighbors, had been blessed with, their who ever saw, before this regiment, an protestations are often and vehement, they English Ligier in the stately porch of the would far otherwise have used. * * 20 Grand Signor at Constantinople? who ever Thus both hearing and reading the oblo- found English consuls and agents at Tripquy of our nation, and finding few or none olis in Syria, at Aleppo, at Babylon, at of our own men able to reply herein; and Balsara, and which is more, who ever further, not seeing any man to have care heard of Englishman at Goa before now? to recommend to the world the industrious 25 what English ships did heretofore ever labors and painful travels of our country- anchor in the mighty river of Plate? pass men: for stopping the mouths of the re- and repass the unpassable (in former opinproachers, myself being the last winter re- ion) Strait of Magellan, range along the turned from France with the honorable coast of Chili, Peru, and all the backside the Lady Sheffield, for her passing good of Nova Hispania, further than any chrisbehavior highly esteemed in all the tian ever passed, traverse the mighty French court, determined notwithstanding breadth of the South Sea, land upon the all difficulties to undertake the burden of Luzones in despite of the enemy, enter that work wherein all others pretended into alliance, amity, and traffic with the either ignorance or lack of leisure, or 35 princes of the Moluccas and the isle of want of sufficient argument, whereas (to Java, double the famous cape of Bona speak truly) the huge toil and the small Speranza, arrive at the isle of St. Helena, profit to ensue were the chief causes of and last of all return home most richly the refusal. I call the work a burden in laden with the commodities of China, as consideration that these voyages lay so 40 the subjects of this now flourishing mondispersed, scattered, and hidden in several archy have done? hucksters' hands, that I now wonder at myself to see how I was able to endure the delays, curiosity, and backwardness of many from whom I was to receive my 45 originals, so that I have just cause to make that complaint of the maliciousness of divers in our time which Pliny made of the men of his age: At nos elaborata iis abscondere atque supprimere cupimus, 50 et fraudare vitam etiam alienis bonis, &c. [But we desire to hide away and suppress their achievements, and to rob life even of the glories of others.]


To harp no longer upon this string, and 55 to speak a word of that just commendation which our nation do indeed deserve: it cannot be denied, but as in all former


(From a report of the truth of the fight about the isles of Azores, the last of August, 1591, betwixt the Revenge, one of her Majesty's ships and an armada of the king of Spain. Penned by the honorable Sir Walter Raleigh, knight.')

The Lord Thomas Howard with six of her Majesty's ships, six victualers of London, the bark Raleigh, and two or three other pinnaces riding at anchor near unto Flores, one of the westerly islands of the


fused to turn from the enemy, alleging that he would rather choose to die than to dishonor himself, his country, and her Majesty's ship, persuading his company that he would pass through the two squadrons in despite of them and enforce those of Seville to give him way. Which he performed upon divers of the foremost, who, as the mariners term it, sprang their luff, and fell under the lee of the Revenge. But the other course had been the better, and might right well have been answered in so great an impossibility of prevailing. Notwithstanding, out of the greatness of his mind, he could not be persuaded. In the meanwhile, as he attended those which were nearest him, the great San Philip, being in the wind of him and coming towards him, becalmed his sails in such sort, as the ship could neither make way nor feel the helm; so huge and high carged was the Spanish ship, being of a thousand and five hundred tons. Who after laid the Revenge aboard. When 25 he was thus bereft of his sails, the ships that were under his lee, luffing up, also laid him aboard, of which the next was the admiral of the Biscayans, a very mighty and puissant ship commanded by Brittandona. The said Philip carried three tiers of ordnance on a side, and eleven pieces in every tier. She shot eight forth right out of her chase, besides those of her stern ports.


Azores, the last of August in the afternoon, had intelligence by one Captain Middleton of the approach of the Spanish armada. Which Middleton, being in a very good sailer, had kept them company three days before, of good purpose both to discover their forces the more, as also to give advice to my Lord Thomas of their approach. He had no sooner delivered the news but the fleet was in sight; many of 10 our ships' companies were on shore in the island, some providing ballast for their ships, others filling of water and refreshing themselves from the land with such things as they could, either for money, or 15 by force, recover. By reason whereof, our ships being all pestered and rummaging, every thing out of order, very light for want of ballast, and that which was most to our disadvantage, the one half part of the men of every ship sick and utterly unserviceable; for in the Revenge there were ninety diseased, in the Bonaventure not so many in health as could handle her mainsail. For had not twenty men been taken out of a bark of Sir George Carey's, his being commanded to be sunk, and those appointed to her, she had hardly ever recovered England. The rest, for the most part, were in little better state. The names of her Majesty's ships were these, as followeth: the Defiance, which was admiral; the Revenge, viceadmiral; the Bonaventure, commanded by Captain Cross; the Lion by George Fen- 35 ner; the Foresight by Mr. Thomas Vavasour; and the Crane by Duffield. The Foresight and the Crane being but small ships, only the others were of the middle size; the rest, besides the bark Raleigh, commanded by Captain Thin, were victualers, and of small force or none. The Spanish fleet, having shrouded their approach by reason of the island, were now so soon at hand as our ships had scarce 45 entertainment. Some say that the ship time to weigh their anchors, but some of them were driven to let slip their cables and set sail. Sir Richard Grenville was the last that weighed, to recover the men that were upon the island, which otherwise 50 had been lost. The Lord Thomas with the rest very hardly recovered the wind, which Sir Richard Grenville not being able to do, was persuaded by the master and others to cut his mainsail and cast about, 55 and to trust to the sailing of the ship, for the squadron of Seville were on his weather bow. But Sir Richard utterly re



After the Revenge was entangled with this Philip, four others boarded her, two on her larboard, and two on her starboard. The fight, thus beginning at three of the clock in the afternoon, continued very terrible all that evening. But the great San Philip, having received the lower tier of the Revenge, discharged with crossbar shot, shifted herself with all diligence from her sides, utterly misliking her first

foundered, but we cannot report it for truth, unless we were assured. The Spanish ships were filled with companies of soldiers,-in some two hundred besides the mariners, in some five, in others eight hundred. In ours there were none at all beside the mariners but the servants of the commanders and some few voluntary gentlemen only. After many interchanged volleys of great ordnance and small shot, the Spaniards deliberated to enter the Revenge, and made divers attempts, hoping to force her by the multitudes of their


armed soldiers and musketeers, but were
still repulsed again and again, and at all
times beaten back into their own ships, or
into the seas. In the beginning of the
fight, the George Noble of London, hav-
ing received some shot through her by
the armadas, fell under the lee of the Re-
venge, and asked Sir Richard what he
would command him, being but one of the
victualers and of small force. Sir Rich- 10
ard bade him save himself, and leave him
to his fortune. After the fight had thus,
without intermission, continued while the
day lasted and some hours of the night,
many of our men were slain and hurt,
and one of the great galleons of the ar-
mada, and the admiral of the hulks both
sunk, and in many other of the Spanish
ships great slaughter was made. Some
write that Sir Richard was very danger- 20
ously hurt almost in the beginning of the
fight, and lay speechless for a time ere he
recovered. But two of the Revenge's own
company brought home in a ship of Lima
from the islands, examined by some of the 25
lords and others, affirmed that he was
never so wounded as that he forsook the
upper deck, till an hour before midnight,
and then, being shot into the body with a
musket, as he was dressing was again 30
shot into the head, and withal his surgeon
wounded to death. This agreeth also with
an examination, taken by Sir Francis Go-
dolphin, of four other mariners of the same
ship, being returned, which examination 35
the said Sir Francis sent unto Master Wil-
liam Killigrew, of her Majesty's privy

but in the morning, bearing with the Revenge, was hunted like a hare amongst many ravenous hounds, but escaped.

All the powder of the Revenge to the last barrel was now spent, all her pikes broken, forty of her best men slain, and the most part of the rest hurt. In the beginning of the fight she had but one hundred free from sickness, and fourscore and ten sick, laid in hold upon the ballast: a small troop to man such a ship, and a weak garrison to resist so mighty an army. By those hundred all was sustained, the volleys, boardings, and enterings of fifteen 15 ships of war, besides those which_beat her at large. On the contrary, the Spanish were always supplied with soldiers brought from every squadron, all manner of arms and powder at will. Unto ours there remained no comfort at all, no hope, no supply either of ships, men, or weapons; the masts all beaten overboard, all her tackle cut asunder, her upper work altogether razed, and in effect evened she was with the water, but the very foundation or bottom of a ship, nothing being left overhead, either for flight or defence. Sir Richard, finding himself in this distress, and unable any longer to make resistance, having endured, in this fifteen hours' fight, the assault of fifteen several armadas, all by turns aboard him, and by estimation eight hundred shot of great artillery, besides many assaults and entries; and that himself and the ship must needs be possessed by the enemy, who were now all cast in a ring round about him, (the Revenge not able to move one way or other, but as she was moved with the waves and billows of the sea), commanded the master gunner, whom he knew to be a most resolute man, to split and sink the ship, that thereby nothing might remain of glory or victory to the Spaniards, seeing in so many hours' fight, and with so great a navy, they were not able to take her, having had fifteen hours' time, above ten thousand men, and fifty and three sail of men-of-war to perform it withal; and persuaded the company, or as many as he could induce, to yield themselves unto God, and to the mercy of none else; but as they had, like valiant resolute men, repulsed so many enemies, they should not now shorten the honor of their nation by prolonging their own lives for a few hours or a few days. The master gunner readily condescended and divers others; but the

But to return to the fight: the Spanish ships which attempted to board the Re- 40 venge, as they were wounded and beaten off, so always others came in their places, she having never less than two mighty galleons by her sides and aboard her. So that ere the morning, from three of the 45 clock the day before, there had fifteen several armadas assailed her; and all so ill approved their entertainment as they were by the break of day far more willing to hearken to a composition than hastily 50 to make any more assaults or entries. But as the day increased, so our men decreased; and as the light grew more and more, by so much more grew our discomforts. For none appeared in sight but enemies, saving one small ship called the Pilgrim, commanded by Jacob Whiddon, who hovered all night to see the success,



captain and the master were of another opinion, and besought Sir Richard to have care of them, alleging that the Spaniard would be as ready to entertain a composition as they were willing to offer the same, and that there being divers sufficient and valiant men yet living, and whose wounds were not mortal, they might do their country and prince acceptable service hereafter. And whereas Sir Richard had al- 10 leged that the Spaniards should never glory to have taken one ship of her Majesty, seeing they had so long and so notably defended themselves, they answered, that the ship had six foot water in hold, 15 three shot under water, which were so weakly stopped as with the first working of the sea, she must needs sink, and was besides so crushed and bruised as she could never be removed out of the place.

nor any of them once to separate their ships from him, unless he gave commission so to do. Notwithstanding the viceadmiral, Sir Richard Grenville, being in the ship called the Revenge, went into the Spanish fleet and shot among them, doing them great hurt, and thinking the rest of the company would have followed; which they did not, but left him there, and sailed away. The cause why could not be known. Which the Spaniards perceiving, with 7 or 8 ships they boarded her, but she withstood them all, fighting with them, at the least 12 hours together, and sunk two of them, one being a new double flyboat of 600 tons, and admiral of the flyboats, the other a Biscayan. But in the end, by reason of the number that came upon her, she was taken, but to their great 20 loss, for they had lost in fighting and by drowning above 400 men, and of the English were slain about 100, Sir Richard Grenville himself being wounded in his brain, whereof afterwards he died. He was carried into the ship called San Paul, wherein was the admiral of the fleet, Don Alonzo de Bazan. There his wounds were dressed by the Spanish surgeons, but Don Alonzo himself would neither see him nor speak with him. All the rest of the captains and gentlemen went to visit him, and to comfort him in his hard fortune, wondering at his courage and stout heart, for that he showed not any sign of faintness nor changing of color. But feeling the hour of death to approach, he spake these words in Spanish, and said: Here die I, Richard Grenville, with a joyful and quiet mind, for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, that hath fought for his country, queen, religion, and honor, whereby my soul most joyful departeth out of this body, and shall always leave behind it an everlasting fame 45 of a valiant and true soldier, that hath done his duty, as he was bound to do. When he had finished these or such other like words, he gave up the ghost, with great and stout courage, and no man could perceive any true sign of heaviness in him.

And as the matter was thus in dispute, and Sir Richard refusing to hearken to any of those reasons, the master of the Revenge (while the captain won unto him. the greater party) was convoyed aboard 25 the General Don Alfonso Bazan. Who (finding none over hasty to enter the Revenge again, doubting lest Sir Richard would have blown them up and himself, and perceiving by the report of the mas- 30 ter of the Revenge his dangerous disposition) yielded that all their lives should be saved, the company sent for England, and the better sort to pay such reasonable ransom as their estate would bear, and in the 35 .nean season to be free from galley or imprisonment. To this he so much the rather condescended as well, as I have said, for fear of further loss and mischief to themselves, as also for the desire he 40 had to recover Sir Richard Grenville, whom for his notable valor he seemed greatly to honor and admire.


The 13th of September the said armada arrived at the island of Corvo, 50 where the Englishmen with about 16 ships as then lay, staying for the Spanish fleet, whereof some or the most part were come, and there the English were in good hope to have taken them. But when they per- 55 ceived the king's army to be strong, the admiral, being the Lord Thomas Howard, commanded his fleet not to fall upon them,


(From a report of the voyage and success thereof, attempted in the year of our

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